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By Holly Richmond, Grist

That burning sensation in your mouth? That’s not (just) hot sauce. It’s probably your mouth’s built-in danger sensor because there’s an unwanted special ingredient: lead. That’s right, it’s not just in your paint and lipstick anymore! (Bonus points if you drizzle hot sauce on your wall and lick it off while wearing lipstick. And by “bonus points” I mean “death.”)

Gustavo Arellano of OC Weekly writes:

“[A] report from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas [shows] that there are high levels of lead in Mexican hot sauces. Researchers bought 25 brands of hot sauces in Latino grocery stores around Las Vegas and put them under the microscope to see how much lead they contained.”

The result? The worst offenders have more than double the FDA’s “action level” of lead, 0.1 parts per million. (The “action” is sealing it in an impenetrable container and running away.) Here are several of the offending hot sauces and their lead counts:

Castillo Salsa Habanera: 0.14 ppm

Búfalo Salsa Clasica: 0.17 ppm

El Yucateco Salsa Picante de Chile Habanero: 0.21 ppm

El Pato Salsa Picante Hot Sauce: 0.23 ppm

According to Arellano, popular brands Tapatío and Cholula weren’t included in the study, and Valentina was fine. So, uh, buy that one? Although your family will probably understand if your food is a little bland for a while. I mean, half a million kids already have lead poisoning. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that’s MORE THAN ENOUGH.

This article was written by Holly Richmond and published in Grist.  Photo by adriandavidpayne/ Flickr.

4 thoughts on “This Hot Sauce Has Double The FDA’s Limit For Lead”

  1. The article was interesting but why would you do a study and not include the two top selling hot sauce products? The study seems incomplete to me. And yes, horrible choice in the picture….

  2. Good information. Would love to know however…who chose the misogynist pic. Pretty gross and disappointing honey colony.

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